Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Barb Catlin has become one of the Southwest’s leading jazz educators and pianists. Her extensive touring, cruise ship, and show playing includes work with top entertainers such as Smokey Robinson, Ben Vereen, Lou Rawls, Bobby Vinton, Michael Crawford and Wayne Newton. Barb’s performances have gained her local and national recognition; her trio was voted as an “Arizona Favorite” by KJZZ’s Listener’s Poll and Barb was named by Downbeat Magazine as a “Player to Catch.”
Barb majored in music education on woodwinds at California State University, Fresno and completed her Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz Studies on piano from Arizona State University. Barb recently returned to her home state of California, where she is Director of the Jazz Ensemble at Pomona College and Director of Jazz at the California Institute of Technology. She is looking forward to her new appointment ad the Director to the California State University, Northridge Youth Honor Jazz Orchestra. During her 18 years in Arizona, Barb was Director of Jazz Studies at Mesa Community College in the Phoenix-metro area and had eight highly successful years as Musical Director of the award-winning youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona. Her students have been featured in the Grammy Jazz Band in Los Angeles, Wynton Marsalis’ All-American Jazz Ensemble, the Dave Brubeck Institute, and the Mancini Institute.
Barb’s enthusiasm for playing, “real-life” approach to education and expertise in the rhythm section has made her a popular clinician and adjudicator at the high school and college levels. Recently Barb was a featured clinician and soloist at Fred Sturm’s Lawrence Jazz Festival, Kris Berg’s Collin College Jazz Festival, director of the Arizona All-State Clinic Jazz Band, and the Central California Honor Jazz Band. Jazz in Arizona awarded Barb their “Lifetime Achievement Award” for her outstanding contribution to jazz education in the state of Arizona.